Kiddie Paleontology

I rarely write toy reviews, mainly because there are people who are really good at it and also because I don’t know where to start.  So, this will be my first proper toy review.

Smithsonian Diggin’ Up Dinosaurs T-Rex

trexI know it says age 8+ on the box, but we still gave it to our daughter for Christmas.  She is getting a lot more into science and exploring, and had expressed an interest in this kit.  Time to let her become a paleontologist … at least for a short while.

So, what is this dinosaur kit?

In short, it’s a small T-Rex skeleton split into 8 pieces, and placed in a brick of solidified sand – almost the same size as a normal brick.  Yes, we all know it’s not a real skeleton, as T-Rex dinosaurs are not that small (not even their babies) as we’ve seen in “Lost World: Jurassic Park” and dinosaur skeletons are rare.

Despite that, my daughter was thrilled and excited about having to unearth a small skeleton; skeleton or not.

The box comes with the necessary tools to excavate the T-Rex; wooden hammer, chisel, brush and of course protective goggles.

The aim of the ‘toy’ is to gently use the tools to unearth the plastic skeleton.

Piece by piece, my daughter chiseled and brushed the sand away and slowly discovered the hidden skeleton pieces.  She screamed loudly every-time she saw pieces of the skeleton in the sand, and got encouraged to continue to find the remaining pieces.

I would say it took her about 40 minutes to finally uncover the T-Rex and she REALLY loved it.

What amazed me was to see how patient she was throughout the excavation.  Personally, I would have taken a much bigger hammer and smashed the brick into atoms quickly, to get to the pieces, but I was not in charge of this excavation.

This is probably the best $13 my wife and I have spent on a Christmas present in a long time.  The joy and excitement expressed by our daughter was priceless.

Negatives?  Not many really, other than it gets pretty dusty during the excavation, but nothing a vacuum cleaner can’t handle.  The wooden hammer and chisel were a little fragile, but I can understand why you wouldn’t put in more durable tools.  One might just get injured.

It would be cool if you somehow could collect all the sand and remake the brick, but I don’t think the excitement would be as high the 2nd time around.

All in all, my daughter loved the toy and gives it 9 out of 10 – the reduction in points is simply due to the low quality tools.  We highly recommend this toy 🙂

You can get it some toy shops or online at both Barnes & Noble and Amazon.

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